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The most important economic development in my family was when my husband (after 34 years of marriage) converted from being a spendthrift to a saver. While we had taken at least a couple of stewardship classes at church and a money management course in college, none of it "took" for him until he learned from financial adviser, author, and speaker Dave Ramsey. Ramsey's light-hearted and simple illustration approach on video captured his mind and attention.
Now he pays all the bills and passes on Ramsey's tips to me, while I have time for more creative pursuits, like sharing here on "ThriftyFun". It is important for the more thrifty partner to be the primary money manager/bill payer in the family. In past years, I filled that role. Now, I can entrust that duty to him.
Common knowledge states that opposites attract, then they argue, and gradually, in time, they wear down each other's rough or extreme edges. Finally, they meet each other in the middle. The first inkling I had that he might not be as careful with money as me, was when he opted for a slightly more expensive wall hanging home phone with touch tone keys rather than the basic desk model with rotary dial.
The daughter of a miser, I knew no debt until he traded in the car my dad had given me as a high school graduation present for another. As poor married college students with a baby on the way, we were eligible for basic educational financial grants. Therefore, the small amount of scholarship money ($100) I had was used for an air conditioner he thought we needed to cool our two bedroom trailer.
In my husband's family, his father paid the bills, so he first assumed that role. However, when he went away for a military training camp one summer, a representative of the electric company came by, ready to disconnect our service. That is when I took over the bill paying.
From a spiritual standpoint, however, he was my teacher. I learned the discipline of tithing from him. The amount of ten percent of our part time job earnings were given by check to the local church where we were members.
One weekend, we missed paying the tithe, as we were visiting with my family out of town. A hired laborer was mowing my grandmother's lawn. Unaccustomed to a car on the property, his mower caught a rock from her unpaved drive and it hit our car window, shattering it. He apologized profusely. We had no heart to pursue the matter, as he lived in little more than shack.
Finally, months later, after replacing the window and catching up on our tithe payment, we returned. Miraculously, the lawn mowing man arrived at my grandmother's door with full reimbursement for the broken window. We praised God and thanked the poor lawn mower man.
While my husband and I have had our financial and faith struggles through the years, the relationship has stood the test of time, enduring, and enriching us in the end.
By Vivian P.
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